San Diego Low Impact Design Manual available

The 2011 San Diego (CA) Low Impact Design Manual is now available under the Resources/Informational Publications tabs. The Manual is an excellent resource for low impact development and green infrastructure designs in urban environments. Many thanks to Dr. Michael Marcus, Tetra Tech (Ret.) for this document.

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EPA Releases New Report on Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure

EPA recently released a new technical report called “Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure” that helps utilities, state and other municipal agencies, and other stormwater professionals understand the  potential benefits of low impact development and green infrastructure (LID/GI) programs. The objective of the report is to highlight different evaluation methods that have been successfully applied and also to demonstrate cases where LID/GI projects and programs have been shown to be economically beneficial. Also, the intent of this document is to promote the use of LID/GI, where appropriate, to supplement grey stormwater infrastructure.

The report highlights 13 case studies of selected public entities throughout the United States that have conducted economic evaluations of their LID/GI programs. The case studies were selected to represent a variety of analysis methods in different geographic areas of the United States, for different types of municipal programs. The case studies highlight locations where LID/GI applications, in combination with grey infrastructure, were found to be economically beneficial.

Stormwater professionals can use the information and resources provided in this report when planning, implementing, and assessing their own LID/GI programs. The report provides a starting framework that both illustrates how others have evaluated the costs and benefits of their LID/GI projects and programs, and suggests methods communities may want to investigate to get  started on their own community specific analyses.

The 142-page technical report is available on EPA’s Low Impact Development website at


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EPA Releases New Green Infrastructure Strategy, Focuses on Making Green Infrastructure a Part of Business as Usual for Communities

EPA has launched a new strategy to expand the use of green infrastructure, with the goal of making green infrastructure a part of business as usual for local communities. The Agency’s 2013 Green Infrastructure Strategy builds on its previous 2008 and 2011 green infrastructure strategies. The new strategy maintains a focus on information exchange and community engagement, while focusing on improving federal coordination, Clean Water Act regulatory support, research and information exchange, funding and financing, and capacity building.

More information:

Jamie Piziali
US EPA – Office of Wastewater Management
Green Infrastructure Program

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New Guidance Manual for Arid GI-LID Available Online

HDR Engineering has published the “Eastern Washington LID Guidance Manual”.  This Manual is a collaborative product of Spokane County, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington Stormwater Center, Washington State University, and the Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permittees. Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Ecology.  The manual and archived instructional videos are available at  The manual is also available for viewing and download on our Resources page.  Many thanks to Robin Kirschbaum with HDR Engineering for making this new manual available!

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University of Washington offers Certificate in Green Stormwater Design

As you plan for your professional development (or that of your staff) in 2014, please be aware of the Certificate in Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design and Management from the University of Washington in Seattle.

–Online or Classroom delivery
–Begins in January 2014
–Comprised of three courses
–Designed for People who are working full-time
–Meets Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8:30pm pacific Time.

McKay Caruthers| Program Manager | UW Educational Outreach| 206.685.9682 |


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Stormwater conveyance utilities lose in federal appeals court

A federal appeals court in Los Angeles ruled again that Los Angeles County is responsible for the high levels of pollution in its Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.

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EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is Now Available to the Public

EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States. Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.

It is designed to be used by anyone interested in reducing runoff from a property, including

  • ·         site developers,
  • ·         landscape architects,
  • ·         urban planners, and
  • ·         homeowners.

The Calculator accesses several national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site. The user supplies information about the site’s land cover and selects the types of low impact development (LID) controls they would like to use.  The LID controls that the user can choose are seven green infrastructure practices:

1.    Disconnection

2.    Rain harvesting

3.    Rain gardens

4.    Green roofs

5.    Street planters

6.    Infiltration basins

7.    Porous pavement

Green infrastructure promotes the natural movement of water, instead of allowing it to wash into streets and down storm drains. Green infrastructure also has the added benefit of beautifying neighborhoods and increasing property values.

The stormwater calculator (SWC), like any model, estimates an outcome based on available information such as soil type, landscape and land-use information, and historical weather. These estimates can be affected by limitations on site-specific information and uncertainties about future climate. To better inform decisions, it is recommended that the user develop a range of results with various assumptions about model inputs such as percent of impervious surface, soil type, and sizing of green infrastructure. An update to the SWC, which will include the ability to link to several future climate scenarios, will be released by the end of 2013. Climate projections indicate that heavy precipitation events are very likely to become more frequent as the climate changes. Green Infrastructure can increase the resiliency of stormwater management approaches to a changing climate, and this update will allow users to consider how runoff may vary based both on historical weather and potential future climate. Please check with local authorities about whether and how use of these tools may support local stormwater management goals and requirements.

Clean water is essential to keeping our families and the environment healthy. The Calculator helps protect and restore the environmental integrity of our waterways.

Additional Information

U.S. EPA. (2013) National Stormwater Calculator User’s Guide (PDF) (59 pp, 2.5 MB) Publication No. 600/R-13/085.

Basic Fact Sheet: The Stormwater Calculator – Identifying Green Infrastructure Solutions (PDF) (1 pg, 379 KB) .

Technical Fact Sheet: U.S. EPA. (2013) National Stormwater Calculator – A desktop tool that helps users control runoff to promote the natural movement of water (PDF) (1 pp, 1.8 MB) Publication No. 600/F-13/095.

EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator (Video) (1:21 min, EPA YouTube)

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EPA Features Locally Led Efforts in Urban Water Restoration via Video Series


Urban Waters Voices: Darryl Haddock
Urban Waters Voices: Darryl Haddock

EPA has released Urban Waters Voices, a series of 12 video interviews featuring locally led efforts to restore urban waters in communities across the United States. These videos feature local efforts and strategies to improve urban water quality while advancing local community priorities. This week’s video spotlights Darryl Haddock, Environmental Education Director for the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, describing some of the challenges faced by communities in the watersheds of Proctor, Sandy, and Utoy Creek (e.g. combined sewer overflows, water quality issues, and access to recreational opportunities) and how the organization is using their outdoor activity center to educate and engage residents about these challenges. Watch the video.

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Two New Reports on GI O&M Released

American Rivers and Green For All have just released two new reports on green infrastructure O&M, the links to which are found below.


Staying Green: Strategies to Improve Operations and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed


Staying Green and Growing Jobs: Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance as Career Pathway Stepping Stones.


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New Guide to GI-LID Friendly Permitting Approaches

American Rivers has just released a guide to permitting approaches that encourage or require “low impact development” or “green infrastructure.” The guide combines model permit language with excerpts from comment letters that have helped to drive permit evolution, and is intended to be a resource for community and watershed advocates:

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